WHO: Kristi Johnson (Mom), Cobyn (10), Audrey (7) & Wesley (3)
WHAT: The Gentle Barn
WHERE: 9295 Christiana Fosterville Road, Christiana
WHEN: Sundays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
INFO: 615-203-5777 | gentlebarn.org

My family visited the The Tennessee Gentle Barn on a recent Sunday. The farm has just recently relocated from Knoxville to Christiana and is a rescue facility for abused or neglected farm animals. All the animals on the farm are either rescued by the farm or born there.

The barn offers private tours and parties throughout the week and a open house day on Sundays. Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and pants to make walking out on the farm easier and more comfortable. It is a great place to bring a picnic lunch, but note this is a vegan-only facility out of respect for the animals.

The paths through the farm are not paved so be sure to leave strollers at home. Since we were outside for several hours, I suggest coming on a day when the heat won’t hinder your experience. While we were there, it was a perfect 79 degrees which definitely helped keep the animals out and playful.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH THE ANIMALS

What sets this place apart from any other farm that you will visit is the personal experiences you have with the animals. Each employee shared an individual story about every animal we met which helped us connect with them.

We had to remember to be calm and gentle with them since most of them have had a difficult past. Having all three children with me, I thought that it would be hard to make sure they followed all the rules of the farm, but there were plenty of staff and volunteers to help walk them through each step. It was also helpful that there is a limited amount of tickets sold so you will have your own time and space with the animals.

On open house Sundays, you are free to roam from one section to the next at your own pace. This is very convenient when you have kids who want to spend extra time with their favorite animal.

My daughter didn’t want to leave the pigs, and we felt no rush to do so. We also happened to be there for Eclipse the cow’s second birthday! We got to be a part of the celebration and sing "Happy Birthday" to him with the staff and watch him enjoy his birthday treat.

My 3-year-old really got a kick out of being there to sing to him.  After we had made our way around, we sat on the picnic tables next to a beautiful pond for a quick bite before going back for a second time around. We all really enjoyed our day at The Gentle Barn and plan to visit again soon. This is a great place for any animal lover to experience.

IF YOU GO TO THE GENTLE BARN:

ADMISSION $20 adults, $10 children
HOURS Sundays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The farm offers private tours and parties during the week.
PARKING, ETC. Free